The Slippery Blogging of Election Law Professor Rick Hasen
Hasen’s article grudgingly admits that the IG report concludes: “Many Bush-era decisions, such as those over Georgia voter ID law, were also within the policy discretion of Justice Department officials.”
Many? Actually, what the IG report says on page 115 is that “there were legitimate, non-discriminatory bases for the substantive enforcement decisions made by Division leadership in the high-profile, controversial cases handled by the Voting Section since 2001, and that these reasons were not a pretext for improper racial or political considerations.”
That means all, not many.
In fact, in several of these cases, the enforcement decisions made by the Bush administration “were vindicated by subsequent judicial decisions,” according to the report. That's called vindication. Contrary to the false assertions that Hasen has been making for years, the IG found no evidence of partisanship or politics in the enforcement decisions made during the Bush administration, including when Hans von Spakovsky was a career lawyer there.
Given the false and malicious personal attacks that Hasen has mounted on von Spakovsky over the years, this IG report must frustrate him.
But readers of Hasen’s blog, and his students, must recognize that they are getting at best only half the story, and at worst a false narrative. Thankfully, these days, the role of any professor in moving a narrative has been replaced by ratings powerhouses like Fox News, conservative media, and other sources more widely read than an academic’s blog.